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The Jacksonville Jaguars currently hold 12 draft selections in 2020, and the team apparently isn’t done adding picks. As the Jaguars continue their aggressive rebuilding process, they have reportedly engaged in trade discussions with multiple teams regarding running back Leonard Fournette.
Fournette, 25, still has two years left on his contract (including a fifth-year option in 2021) and is set to earn $4.17 million in base salary this season. After missing eight games in 2018, the 2017 fourth overall pick amassed 1,152 yards and three touchdowns on the ground last season. He also posted 76 catches for 522 yards.
With Fournette reportedly on the trade block, here’s a list of teams that could make the most by adding the running back.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Buccaneers haven’t had a reliable running game in what feels like forever. Tampa Bay racked up just 3.7 yards per carry in 2019, which was tied for the second-worst mark in the NFL, and the team has now finished with under four yards per rushing attempt since 2016.
Ronald Jones was expected to be a problem-solver for the team, but the 2018 second-round pick hasn’t matched expectations yet. Though Jones started the team’s last nine games a year ago after a disastrous rookie campaign, he topped 100 yards only once and amassed just 410 yards over that span.
The addition of Tom Brady gives the Bucs Super Bowl aspirations, but with the quarterback turning 43 years old this season, the clock is already ticking for Tampa Bay to give everything it can to support the six-time champion. Fournette would be an immediate solution for this subpar running attack.
The Seahawks are one of only two teams to amass at least 1,000 rushing attempts in the last two seasons combined, which means backfield depth is crucial. Seattle also particularly likes powerful running backs who are strong enough to run through defenders, just like Fournette.
Pete Carroll currently has Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny as options, but both of them carry questions after 2019. Carson has battled injuries in every campaign of his short three-year career and he’s entering the last season of his contract, while Penny is recovering from a torn ACL and offers little contribution to the passing game.
Playing without both Carson and Penny in the playoffs – as exciting as the Marshawn Lynch experiment was – showed Seattle can’t minimize its efforts at the position moving forward.
The Bills have made aggressive, smart decisions year after year since Brandon Beane was named general manager in 2017. However, Buffalo hasn’t addressed the running back position this offseason, and veteran Frank Gore didn’t re-sign after leading the team in rushing attempts.
Devin Singletary showed promise as a rookie and posted 5.1 yards per carry through 12 regular-season appearances. But without Gore, Singletary is basically the Bills’ only RB option right now.
Fournette would complement Buffalo’s backfield well, leaving Singletary in his No. 2 role while adding another undeniable talented weapon to Josh Allen‘s offense.
Kansas City Chiefs
How fun would this be? Patrick Mahomes and his explosive receiving weapons adding a running back of Fournette’s caliber would essentially create unstoppable matchups for this offense.
Kansas City’s average of 98.1 rushing yards per game ranked just 23rd last season, and Damien Williams led the team on the ground despite amassing only 111 attempts and 498 yards.
Due to their quarterback situation, the Chiefs can afford not to have an elite running game, but winning the trenches has always been ideal and Fournette could definitely help Kansas City achieve that. Williams and Fournette would create a great three-down, two-way combination.
If the Chiefs decide to pursue Fournette, they would need to restructure a few contracts to open immediate cap space. Signing a long-term deal with franchise-tagged defensive tackle Chris Jones might be the solution.
Though the Lions invested a second-round pick in Kerryon Johnson two years ago, their running game issues appear far from over. When healthy, Johnson has had his moments, but he’s now played in just 18 games since 2018 due to various injuries.
Despite missing half of the season in 2019, Johnson still led Detroit in carries (113), rushing yards (403), and touchdowns (three). In his absence, second-year Bo Scarbrough stepped up as the starting runner, but not necessarily enough to make this duo a reliable one.
Granted, Fournette has had injury issues of his own. But he’d still be a more reliable option for the Lions, who could line up a mouthwatering combination in the backfield with Johnson. That’s an ideal scenario for a team that needs to win right now.
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UFC 250 weigh-in results: Amanda Nunes, Felicia Spencer make weight for championship tilt – MMA Fighting
Saturday’s featherweight title fight is on.
UFC champion Amanda Nunes and challenger Felicia Spencer both successfully made championship weight at Friday’s official weigh-ins for UFC 250, which takes place Saturday at the UFC APEX in Las Vegas.
This will be Nunes’s first defense of her featherweight title. She is also the UFC’s bantamweight champion and has defended that belt five consecutive times.
See the full UFC 250 weigh-in results below:
Main card (ESPN+ pay-per-view, 10 p.m. ET)
Amanda Nunes (145) vs. Felicia Spencer (144.5)
Raphael Assuncao (136) vs. Cody Garbrandt (136)
Aljamain Sterling (136) vs. Cory Sandhagen (135.5)
Neil Magny (171) vs. Rocco Martin (170.5)
Sean O’Malley (136) vs. Eddie Wineland (136)
Preliminary Card (ESPN and ESPN +, 8 p.m. ET)
Chase Hooper (145.5) vs. Alex Caceres (146)
Gerald Meerschaert (185.5) vs. Ian Heinisch (185.5)
Cody Stamann (145.5) vs. Brian Kelleher (146)
Charles Byrd (184.5) vs. Maki Pitolo (185.5)
Early Preliminary Card (ESPN+ and UFC Fight Pass, 6:30 p.m. ET)
Jussier Formiga (126) vs. Alex Perez (126)
Alonzo Menifield (205) vs. Devin Clark (205.5)
Evan Dunham (149.5) vs. Herbert Burns (149.5)
Canadian Premier League moves forward on proposed strategy for a 2020 season – Canadian Premier League
Toronto, ON – (June 5, 2020) – Today, the Canadian Premier League together with its owners, clubs and player leadership unanimously agreed on the structure and concept of a proposed strategy on the possibility of a 2020 CPL season.
The CPL feels an obligation on behalf of our players, teams, supporters and partners, to get back on the pitch and that can’t happen without the players input and support. The health and safety of all is the single most important issue and it is vital that appropriate health and safety protocols mandated by the local and Provincial officials are in place and agreed to by all stakeholders – players, clubs, owners, league and Canada Soccer, the CPL’s governing body.
“Our position since we began the journey of building the League from the ground up has been to work together,” said David Clanachan, Canadian Premier League Commissioner. “We started this process behind the scenes many weeks ago in consultation with our owners on the many details and protocols required to safely return to the field of play, and potential opportunities that may emerge. This led to the next step of a collaborative discussion with the players this week.”
Clanachan continued, “It’s been gratifying and rewarding to see how much collective enthusiasm and co-operation there has been, and we have landed in an excellent and unanimous position with our clubs and club player leadership.”
“I and the rest of the squad are looking forward with excitement, energy and enthusiasm as we work towards a return to play. The CPL has gone to the extreme in ensuring player, staff, and club safety as we discuss a new format of play for the 2020 season,” said HFX Wanderers player Alex De Carolis. “We know this season has not turned out the way we expected but we are all excited for whatever format is presented. There will be no excuses or asterisk on this 2020 season, and we will be fully prepared for the opening kick-off. We want to compete for our fans and the city of Halifax as best we can!”
“As a player, I think the ultimate goal is to get back to playing as soon as possible but under the right conditions,” said Forge FC Captain, Kyle Bekker. “This unique situation has opened the door for us as players to have open and honest direct lines of communication with the league. We value being a part of this conversation and look forward to finding the best solution possible in getting back on the field.”
“Since the suspension of sanctioned soccer on 13 March, Canada Soccer has worked closely with all stakeholders including the Canadian Premier League and our Provincial and Territorial Member Associations to ensure the health and safety of all who participate in the game of soccer in Canada,” said Peter Montopoli, Canada Soccer’s General Secretary. “Through close collaboration with the Canadian Premier League and their clubs and the sharing of Canada Soccer’s Return to Soccer Guidelines, we are pleased that the league and its clubs have solidified their plan for Return to Soccer where the provincial and local governments have permitted a return to physical activities and look forward to a return to competition soccer through this initiative soon.”
The next step will be to engage with the fans and partners as the Canadian Premier League with its Clubs work collectively to find a solution for a 2020 CPL season.
Toronto FC captain Michael Bradley says Donald Trump doesn't have 'a moral bone in his body' – The Globe and Mail
Toronto FC captain Michael Bradley pulled no punches Thursday, lamenting the “zero leadership” south of the border as the U.S. is ravaged by racial unrest.
The long-time U.S. skipper took square aim at President Donald Trump.
“We have a President who is completely empty. There isn’t a moral bone in his body,” Bradley told a news conference call.
“There’s no leadership. There’s no leadership from the President, there’s no leadership from the Republican senators who have sat back and been totally complicit in everything he’s done for the last three and a half years.”
Bradley urged his fellow Americans to speak with their ballot in November, saying it was “impossible to overstate” the importance of the coming election.
“I just hope that people are able to go to the polls in November and think about more than just what is good for them, more than what is good for their own status, their own business, their own tax return. I hope that people can go to the polls and understand that in so many ways, the future of our country and the future of our democracy is at stake.
“We need as many people as possible to understand that at a real level, to think about what four more years with Trump as president, what that would mean, how terrible that would be for so many people.”
Referencing racial inequality and social injustice, Bradley added: “If we want any chance to start to fix those things, then Trump can’t be president, it’s as simple as that.”
The 32-year-old Bradley has run through the gamut of emotions while watching the violence and unrest unfold in the wake of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis while three police officers restrained him — one with his knee on Floyd’s neck.
“I’m angry, I’m horrified, I’m sad and I’m determined to do anything and everything I can to try to be a part of the fix,” he said. “Because it has to end. And we all have to be part of that fix.”
He acknowledged that while he has much to learn on the issues, politicians, policy-makers and businesses have to be held accountable.
Bradley has criticized Trump before. In January, 2017, he said he was “sad and embarrassed” by Trump’s travel ban aimed at citizens of predominantly Muslim countries.
The TFC captain, while happy to see the MLS labour impasse over, noted there had been “some real difficult moments along the way.” That included a threat of a lockout from the league.
Such tactics “did not sit well with the players,” he said.
He also said there had been a frustrating absence of dialogue right from the beginning of talks, which he acknowledged played out against an unprecedented global threat.
“This, at a certain point for me, was about what’s right and what’s wrong in the middle of the pandemic. And the way to treat people and the way that you look after people. I kept coming back to that idea. That we have all put so much into growing the game in North America, at all levels — ownership, league office, executives coaches, players, fans.
“Everybody is important to what we’re trying to do. To try to dismiss any of the entities that I just named would be short-sighted and disrespectful because the game is about everybody.”
He said he would have loved to have seen everyone get on the same page early on and find a way “to cut through the [bull].”
“To just say, ‘This is where we are right now. Nobody has a playbook. Nobody has any answers, but how are we going to come out better and stronger from all of this?’ … I think conversations would have carried so much more weight and I think we would have been able to avoid so much of the way certain things played out.”
Bradley underwent ankle surgery in January to repair an injury suffered in the MLS Cup final loss in Seattle on Nov 10. His rehab over, he was part of a small group training session Thursday.
“I’m doing well,” he said. “I’m continuing to make progress. … At this point, physically, I feel really good. My ankle feels really good. And now it’s just about training. Getting back into real training in a way that now prepares me for games.”
Still, he said injuries are an issue in the league’s return to play given the time that has passed since the league suspended play March 12.
“That is a big concern,” he said. “And it’s not a big concern only amongst players. I know that has been a real topic amongst coaches and sports science staff and medical staff.”
While teams will do everything possible to get the players ready, a compressed schedule at the Florida tournament that awaits teams won’t help injury fears, he said.
“That certainly is a big question. Maybe the biggest question when you get past the initial health and safety stuff of COVID, among players and coaches and technical staff,” he said.
“How are we going to give ourselves the best chance to win, but also do it in a way where guys are at their highest level both technically and physically.”
UFC 250 weigh-in results: Amanda Nunes, Felicia Spencer make weight for championship tilt – MMA Fighting
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